This is an ongoing series of stories from our own clients about their experiences selling with us.
We recently were on both the buying and selling side of a local dog-walking business. The business had a manager in place, as the owner lived out of state. The buyers were local, a couple who were looking for a “starter business” in which the wife would take over a managing role while the husband kept his job.
What made this transaction a win/win/win was the motivation and helpfulness of the buyer, and the process-orientation and seriousness of the seller. Put those together with two brokers from the APEX team, and things work out well, and quickly.
We’ve mentioned the importance of developing a relationship with a banker, and you’ll be happy to know, we take our own advice!
The buyer went to one of our bankers to get an SBA loan, as they didn’t want to use up their cash on hand. Our banker told them it would be more expensive to get an SBA loan, and it was smaller than the amounts they usually would fund, but they would do it if necessary because they’ve done so many deals with us and know that the diligence would be in place. But the banker said it would be a much better option for a number of reasons to simply get a home equity loan for the amount they needed to finance the purchase of the business, which was the option they ended up taking.
Once an offer to purchase was agreed to, both parties started the diligence process.
The seller, though out of state, was consistently on the ball and helpful. The buyer had a demanding day job, and hence could only usually get to the requests on the weekends, but we came to expect emails on Mondays with all the questions we needed answered. The buyers had looked at a number of businesses prior to this one that just weren’t good fits for one reason or another. When they saw that a business was already being run by an absentee owner in concert with a manager, they saw a great opportunity to use all the manuals and processes that made such an arrangement possible, and leverage it to grow the business with local ownership that was also involved in operations.
Closing and Transition
The buyers and seller didn’t meet until the day of closing. The seller scheduled five days of in-person, intense training to help the buyers get started, and they have a clear transition plan for future questions. Every part of the sale, from the listing, to the offer, to the diligence, to the closing, and even to the transition, went “according to plan,” in great part due to a great match of buyer and seller. As brokers, we don’t create these solid, well-operated businesses, but we do know how to find the right people to buy them and take them over. This was one of those times when everyone checked their egos at the door, realizing they had a “job” to do in order to make this transaction happen, and then they did it.
We sell businesses of all sizes, from a local dog walking business to national construction firms. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, we are certain we can help!